Successful innovations depend upon what input is given to the development process. That input is developed in the early stage of innovation in which neither problems nor goals are well-defined (Simon, 1973; Bayazit, 2004). The presented research focuses on how innovators’ requirements towards software tools supporting early-stage innovation can be met by suitable working environments. Allan (2007) describes early-stage innovation as a social process where individuals and groups work together in a collaborative way. This paper examines how such collaborative work can be encouraged by applying game dynamics to early-stage innovation processes. The game dynamics examined are implemented in an integrated software solution designed to support innovators with getting connected to the right people, producing ideas based on exploring knowledge and evaluating them to achieve the goal of developing successful innovations. The presented approach is based on the research carried out by the European Community funded Integrated Project Laboranova.
Keywords: collaborative working environments, collaboration, innovation, ideation, early-stage innovation, innovations fuzzy front end, routines